Glass bubblers are pretty handy for smoking cannabis flower. For those of you who don’t know, there are technically two types of bubblers; those that look like small pipes with a section for water, like a combination pipe and bong, and those that are also called diffusers, which are small additions that can be attached to bongs for double the water filtration and aeration benefits.
Keeping that in mind, glass bubblers can and do get dirty. That brown and sticky resin is going to cover the inside of these bubblers sooner rather than later, and no, just rinsing them with water won’t do the trick. Today we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about cleaning a bubbler.
How to Thoroughly Clean My Glass Bubbler
If you are wondering how to clean a water bubbler pipe, particularly the substance(s) needed, take a look below. When it’s finally time to clean a bubbler there are a few different options that you have at your disposal, so let’s take a look at each of them.
White Vinegar and Baking Soda Solution
One of the best household solutions for cleaning a glass water pipe is a basic white vinegar and baking soda solution. Vinegar is a great degreaser that has the ability to remove stuck-on debris, which is also the case for baking soda, plus both also work as great deodorizers and bacteria killers too.
Now, remember those volcanoes you made in elementary school, where you would mix baking soda and vinegar to create an eruption. Well, these two substances are ideal for more than just making grade school volcanoes. That chemical reaction that occurs when the two are mixed together creates a whole lot of carbon dioxide, and that’s really what is going to clean your bubbler, kind of like a CO2 scrub for your pipe.
If you’re wondering how to clean a bubble pipe without much effort required, this is it. For the record, the ratio of baking soda to vinegar here is going to be about 50/50. When the reaction is done you’ll be left with what is essentially harmless salt water that is easily rinsed away.
Isopropyl Alcohol Solution
If you’re wondering how to clean a bubbler pipe to get it looking and smelling like new, your best bet is likely going to be an isopropyl alcohol solution. Exactly what ratio you use here is up to you, although most people who use water to dilute it will only do so if the bubbler pipe is not overly dirty.
If you have a super dirty bubbler pipe, then going with 100% isopropyl alcohol without any water will produce the best results. This type of alcohol is very strong and has the ability to more or less dissolve that resin. It won’t just loosen it, but will quite literally dissolve it, which is why the alcohol will end up looking brown and murky after it sits for a while.
If you really want to step things up, you can mix in a little bit of rock salt, coarse sea salt, or even grains of rice. These small and hard objects will work as scrapers that will scrub away any remaining resin that the alcohol was not able to get.
Be aware that this form of alcohol is not safe to ingest, and is highly flammable! Be sure to thoroughly rinse your bubbler after you clean it. Do not use 100% isopropyl alcohol near open flames or in a poorly ventilated space as the fumes are also flammable.
If you are wondering how to clean a glass bubbler without having to spend any money, especially if it is not overly dirty, is with some boiling water. You can always put your bubbler in a small pot and literally simmer it in water, or pour boiling water into a container and insert the bubbler. The hot water should loosen the resin up. Although this is certainly not the most effective method to choose, it sure is the cheapest.
If are wondering how to clean a bubble pipe the professional way, you could always use a bong cleaner or bong cleaning solution. These often contain a variety of substances, usually some kind of liquid that loosens the resin, and something like hard grains to act as a scrubber. This is generally going to be the most expensive way to go, although if you have resin that is very stuck on, it might be your best bet.
Cleaning Your Glass Bubbler: Equipment Needed
The best ways to clean a glass bubbler pipe are either with baking soda and vinegar, or with isopropyl alcohol and coarse salt or grains of rice, so this is what we are going to focus on today.
You can use cotton tips, also known as cotton swabs, to reach inside of the bubbler to rub away stuck-on resin and debris. Pipe cleaners, as implied by the name, are designed for this and are good to get into hard-to-reach places.
You can use any small brush, like a small toothbrush, to scrape the inside of the glass bubbler.
Tupperware Container or Ziploc Bag
You’ll want Tupperware containers, Ziploc bags, or anything else that can be sealed, as this is where you will soak the glass bubbler in the cleaning solution.
How to Clean a Glass Bubbler
Let’s go through a quick step-by-step tutorial on how to clean a bubbler pipe.
1. Put the Bubbler in a Bag or Container
Take your container or sealable bag of choice and place your glass bubbler inside it.
2. Insert Baking Soda or Salt
Pour in a healthy helping of baking soda (if using vinegar) or coarse salt/grains of rice (if using isopropyl alcohol).
Close the bag or container and give it a light shake to coat the interior and exterior of the glass bubbler with the salt, rice grains, or baking soda.
4. Add Vinegar or Alcohol
Add the white vinegar to the baking soda or the alcohol to the salt or rice grains, more than enough to completely submerge the glass bubbler.
5. Let Soak
Let the glass bubbler soak for about 30 minutes, or if heavily soiled, for up to an hour or longer.
Once the time is up, give it a bit of a shake to loosen anything still stuck.
Use the cotton swabs or brushes to scrub the inside and outside of the bubbler, to remove as much debris and resin as you can.
Rinse the glass bubbler in warm water to remove the cleaning solution, resin, and debris.
Set the glass bubbler down on a paper towel or dry cloth to let it dry.
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